18ft Skiffs – Australian Championship – Race 1

Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy  – Sunday, 14 January 2024 – Sydney Harbour 

Current Giltinan 18ft skiff champion Andoo, skippered by John Winning Jr, with Seve Jarvin on the sheet and Peter Harris standing in for  Sam Newton in the bow, survived the strengthening South-East breeze to take out Race 1 of the Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

The experienced team was always in or near the lead from the beginning of the race and completed the course safely as the wind strengthened from around 10-20knots over the second half of the course.

At the finish, Andoo crossed the line 1m36s ahead of Yandoo (Micah Lane, Fang Warren, Lewis Brake), withYour Name Her (Kirk Mitchell, Andrew Stephenson, Daniel Barnett) a further 30s back in third place.

After being recalled for an OCS, Balmain (Henry Larkings) finished in fourth place, ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel (Beau Junk) and Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis).

Andoo was quickly into the lead after the start and led the fleet to the first weather mark in Rose Bay where she enjoyed a 9s lead over Yandoo, which was skippered by Micah Lane, who took over from the skiff’s regular skipper John ‘Woody’ Winning only minutes before the start.

The consistent Your Name Here was in third place, followed by Smeg (Nathan McNamara), Rag & Famish Hotel, Fisher & Paykel, Balmain, Sixt (Nathan Edwards) and The Kitchen Maker (Lachlan Steel).

Yandoo grabbed the lead from Andoo on the long spinnaker run from Rose Bay to the bottom mark off Robertson Point to hold a 15s margin as the two leaders headed for the next weather mark off Clark Island.

Your Name Here was still in third place and only 10s behind Andoo, followed by Rag & Famish Hotel, Fisher & Paykel, Smeg, The Kitchen Maker and defending champion Finport Finance (Keagan York) which was also recovering from an OCS.

The three leaders staged a good battle on the work to Clark Island where Yandoo led Andoo by just 6s.  Your Name Here was close to the two leaders but unfortunately ran out of wind as she approached the rounding buoy and lost touch with the other two boats.

Yandoo and Andoo both set a spinnaker for the tight run to Chowder Bay and soon had to reverse the decision as they were taken off the course.  Andoo had more trouble than Yandoo and paid the price when Yandoo set up a 48s lead at Chowder Bay.

Rag & Famish Hotel was being well sailed by a crew having its first race, collectively, together in an 18 and had moved up into third place ahead of Your Name Here.  Finport Finance and Balmain had both recovered well from their OCS problem to be in fifth and sixth places.

The breeze began to build more as the fleet headed to the next mark in Rose Bay and the Yandoo team was brilliant as the crew took the skiff to a 1m20s lead over Andoo. Rag & Famish Hotel, Finport Finance and You Name Here.

Just when it looked as if Yandoo was going to be hard to catch, she capsized on the RHS of Shark Island as the fleet headed to Taylors Bay.  Andoo and Finport Finance both went to the LHS of Shark Island and were the new race leaders.

From that point, Andoo was always in control.  Yandoo worked her way back into second place to be 1m10s behind the leader, while Finport Finance was third.

Unfortunately for Finport Finance, she was involved in an incident with a ferry, capsized and forced to retire.  As a result, the team has lodged a protest seeking redress.

Balmain’s comeback after the poor start was rewarded when she won the handicap section of the race to collect Cordukes Clubhouse trophy, which is part of the season-long club point score series. 

Today’s result sheet is attached, along with SailMedia’s images from the racing 

Race 2 of the Australian Championship will be sailed next Sunday (21 January).  The League’s spectator ferry will follow the action, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2pm.  Tickets are available https://18footers.com/18-footer-racing/spectator-ferry/   

If you prefer, you can still join the League’s ‘Alternative Ferry’ in the clubhouse and enjoy all the racing action LIVE on the massive screen broadcasting the SailMedia Livestream camera cat coverage.  It’s a really unique way to celebrate the great racing and all 18 footer supporters are welcome to come down to the clubhouse ‘Alternative Ferry’.          

If you can’t get out onto Sydney Harbour, or come to the club’s ‘Alternative’ Ferry’, you can still watch it LIVE by going to the Club’s www.18footers.com website and clicking on the TV link

Frank Quealey

Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.

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